The hunt for a rainbow

Dazel was very excited. She was going to learn about rainbows in her school and was intent on finding a rainbow herself.

"Rainbows are so magical. You know I have never seen one myself," she said to her friends Din Din and Delma as they lounged around at the lake.

"Well, the rainy season's about to start so there are chances of spotting one," replied Delma as she floated on her back.

"It would be so nice to visit a rainbow," said Din Din dreamily as he chewed on a stalk of grass and dipped his legs in the cool lake water.

"You can't visit a rainbow," said Delma with a laugh. "It's not a place."

"Of course it is a real place. It's a magical kingdom with 7 coloured fairies," replied Din Din indignantly.

"My mom's always told me stories about the rainbow kingdom ever since I was a little dinosaur."

"But those are just stories," said Delma kindly.

"Infact, at the end of every rainbow lies a pot of gold guarded by a mischievous creature called a Leprechaun," said Din Din with confidence. "My mom says that some believe that a rainbow is a bridge to a land in the sky."

"But, Din Din, do you really believe all that?" said Delma. "Those are just bedtime stories for kids."

Din Din got up in haste. "My mom wouldn't make up all those things. Is that what you are implying?" Without waiting for a response, the dinosaur suddenly said, "I have to go. Its twilight anyways and mom will be waiting for me for dinner." With those words he trudged off without a backward glance.

"Oh dear! I think I offended him," said Delma anxiously.

"Yes, he did take it rather hard. Some creatures have a hard time believing that legends and stories are not really true," said Dazel in a subdued tone.

"How do I apologize to him. I didn't mean to hurt his feelings. I just wanted to make him realize that rainbows aren't magical. There's a whole science behind them," said Delma miserably.

"Don't worry Delma, when Din Din comes tomorrow, we'll try to explain the concept of rainbows to him," said Dazel and she bid her aquatic friend goodbye.

But the next evening, Din Din did not turn up.

"Oh dear! He's still upset with me," said Delma woefully.

"I'll go and see where he is," said Dazel and swooped off with a flutter of her bright feathers.

Din Din was not in his garden nor was he near the caves in Fruit Park where he lived with the other dinosaur families. Just as Dazel was about to give up and fly towards the lake, she spotted Din Din's mother.

"Hello, Mrs. D," said Dazel chirpily.

"Have you seen Din Din?"

"Why no? Isn't he with you and Delma? He usually goes to spend time with you both at the lake in the evenings," asked Din Din's mother.

"No, I'm afraid he is upset with us. We were having a discussion on rainbows and he got insulted when we didn't believe the stories about rainbows he believed in," said Dazel in embarrassment.

"Well, I have always told him stories about rainbows," admitted Din Din's mother. "Maybe those tales have been so deeply etched in his mind, that he's now not willing to accept any other versions. But you know, Dazel, sometimes these stories or legends also have some truth in them and there is no harm in believing in fantasy."

"Yes, maybe you are right," said Dazel.

"Now you fly off, dear. I'll convince him to come to the lake tomorrow. Don't you worry," said Din Din's mother compassionately.

The next evening Delma and Dazel were waiting for their dinosaur friend. Just as it seemed as if he would not come again, they saw a large, green figure lumbering towards the lake.

"Din Din!" exclaimed Dazel joyfully and flew up to greet him. "We missed you so much! Where were you yesterday? I looked all over for you."

Din Din smiled and said shyly, "I missed you all too."

Delma swam up to the edge of the lake and cuddled next to Din Din's broad side. "I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings," said Delma softly.

"I'm sorry too, I never gave you a chance to explain," said Din Din quickly. "Infact I'm eager to hear what you had to explain about rainbows."

"Are you sure?" asked Delma cautiously. "Yes, I am," said Din Din as he hugged his dolphin friend.

"Well, we learnt at school that a rainbow occurs when rain is falling in one portion of the sky and the sun is shining in another. For a rainbow to be seen, the sun must be behind an observer who is facing falling rain. So, the sun is always behind you when you face a rainbow, and that the center of the circular arc of the rainbow is in the direction opposite to that of the sun. The rain, of course, is in the direction of the rainbow," started Delma.

"What about the seven colours? How are they seen? There's red and yellow...Ummm..." quizzed Din Din.

"There's an easy way to remember the colours in the rainbow in the right order. Just remember the word VIBGYOR," said Dazel joining in the interesting discussion. "That stands for Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red."

"We see light as white, but it is made up of many colours. When the beam of light passes through the water droplet it slows down and spreads out or disperses, separating each colour that makes up white light as a spectrum of colours," explained Delma.

The three friends were quiet as they took in all this information.

Finally Din Din said, "So, let me get this straight. A rainbow is made up of millions of water droplets, each one refracting and dispersing sunlight. The sun is hitting every droplet at a low angle and is situated behind you as you look at the rainbow. The arc is caused by the way the light is bending through the droplets. And that, in a nutshell is the science of rainbows!"

"That's right," replied Dazel excitedly. "So, you see, a rainbow is not an object, and cannot be physically approached. It is impossible for an observer to manoeuvre to see any rainbow from water droplets at any angle other than the customary one of 42 degrees from the direction opposite the sun."

"Well! That's certainly more interesting than any stories or myths," said Din Din with a nod of his head.

"Yes, infact, Wiz Rooster says that rainbows are one of the most spectacular light shows on earth!" quipped Dazel. "I can't wait to see one for real! Wiz Rooster also said that rainbows can be caused by many forms of airborne water. These include not only rain, but also mist, spray, and airborne dew."

"I hope when we do see one, all three of us are together," said Din Din affectionately.

"I hope so too," said Delma and Dazel in unison.

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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